December saw two bighorn sheep fall victim to mountain lion predation in the northern Santa Rosa Mountains. A radio-collared ewe and an unmarked ram were found dead in close proximity to each other and were likely killed by the same cat. While mountains lions primarily prey on deer, they will occasionally switch to bighorn sheep. Most of the sheep in the Peninsular Ranges are unmarked so it’s always possible that there were more mortalities, but we’ll hope this lion switches its prey selection.
Oswit Canyon Funds Raised
The Save Oswit Canyon group did an incredible job of raising a million dollars by the end of the year and have now secured the necessary funds to buy Oswit Canyon. Urban development has been a leading cause of decline for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep over the years and Oswit Canyon is important sheep habitat. We applaud Jane Garrison and all the Save Oswit folks for their hard work to save the canyon from development for the sheep and for all of us as well.
In early December, The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage staff volunteered to help clear Bradley Spring of overgrown vegetation. This vegetation provides an ambush opportunity for predators so it’s important to clear it out since bighorn sheep rely on their eyesight as their main defense in avoiding predators. Bradley Spring is an important man-made water source and the volunteers’ efforts will help keep the area clear for months to come! Thank you, Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, for choosing to help the sheep as your annual volunteer project!
Our last Member Hike saw success with a number of sheep seen, including three sheep at close range in Carrizo Canyon. Our next Member Hike will be Monday, January 20th at 8:00am. We would love to have you join us, but space is limited, no dogs, and you must RSVP for this first come first served hike. To sign up or for more information, please call us at 760-346-7334 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walk or Ride for the Sheep – 2020 Tour de Palm Springs
Bighorn Institute is still looking for team members for the upcoming 2020 Tour de Palm Springs Saturday, February 8th to support our conservation efforts for the sheep. Don’t worry about the pace or distance as there are plenty of options for all skill levels. You can walk 1 or 3 miles or bike ride 10, 28, 55 or 102 miles. If you register using Bighorn Institute’s charity code bhid20, we get 100% of the proceeds! Can’t bike or walk that day? You can still participate by buying $1 raffle tickets-we get the proceeds. You don’t even have to be present to win the raffle prizes; just check their website after the event to see if you’ve won. Registration starts at $20; for more information, call us at 760-346-7334 or email us at email@example.com. Click the poster to sign up!
Annual Membership Meeting: Saturday, February 1st at 8:30am at the Institute
Spring Fling fundraiser: the 3rd Annual Spring Fling will take place Thursday, April 9th at Stone Eagle.
It’s not too late to make an end-of-the-year contribution!
You can donate online at www.bighorninstitute.org or mail us a check as long as it’s post-marked by December 31st. Bighorn Institute is privately-funded and we strive hard to keep our expenses as low as possible so that your generous gift can go to Peninsular bighorn sheep conservation. Thank you!
Field receiver - $1,000 – allows us to track the radio-collared bighorn sheep
Valley Voice: An early Christmas for Coachella Valley bighorn sheep